The UK's fourth largest food retailer, Morrisons, has launched a nationwide campaign to recruit local food suppliers as it looks to meet the growing appetite for local food.
Nationwide search for suppliers
‘The Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ will see Morrisons aim to recruit more than 200 new suppliers from across England, Scotland and Wales in its first year. The activity will involve Morrisons inviting small scale suppliers to pitch for their place in its supermarkets via a series of 12 regional events starting in Yorkshire on March 14th. The move shows the importance of "Local Solutions" in Morrisons six point strategy and follows a trial scheme last year when selected stores stocked products supplied directly from local farms during the harvest season. Suppliers can apply to attend a regional event at www.morrisons.com/local
New study highlights importance of local food
The initiative coincides with the publication of an independent study by leading experts on global food issues led by Professor Tim Benton, from the University of Leeds. The British Food report, commissioned by Morrisons, reveals that only half (52%) of food eaten in the UK is sourced from UK farms. It highlights the benefits of strengthening the local food sector in the UK and calls on retailers, producers and customers to recognise the wider benefits of supporting UK food marking and production.
Making it easier to trade with Morrisons
To make it easier for to trade with Morrisons, the retailer is also scrapping a raft of charges for suppliers. From this month, Morrisons will no longer charge suppliers for dealing with customer complaints, access to the Morrisons Supplier Database, training for supplier teams through the Morrisons Supplier Academy, and access to the M Create portal for managing own brand development. The changes were announced by group commercial director Darren Blackhurst this week, and follow feedback in Morrisons Supplier Listening Survey. Morrisons will also lower the costs of artwork production and accelerate the introduction of 'good faith' receiving for deliveries into its fresh warehouses. It will also develop longer term plans and launch an independent whistle blowing service on April 3rd.